MURCIA city has been forced to introduce special measures after its air pollution levels rose to new heights.
The San Basilio measuring station saw record high levels of pollution on New Year’s Day, leading the city’s Traffic Control Room to publish a series of warnings and advice.
‘Atmospheric pollution – avoid accessing the centre’, read one message, ‘Use external parking lots’ and ‘Drive efficiently.’
There are only two higher levels of pollution but authorities are still telling those most sensitive to air pollution (e.g. children, the elderly and those with breathing problems) to avoid physical exertion and outdoor exercises until the pollution has subsided.
Drivers are being reminded to use the Park’n’Ride facilities on the city’s outskirts.
Commuters are being urged to use public transport or, at least, car share with others.
Additionally, long term preventive measures are being reminded to everyone.
For example: buy locally-sourced goods; avoid using toxic substances; avoid air conditioning in summer and reduce heating in winter months.
Despite the historic city having the region’s only pollution protocol in place, it still has its critics.
José Antonio Serrano of opposition party PSOE, has immediately demanded a more proactive approach that includes incentives to use public transport.
He was also critical of delays and wanted to expedite a specific operational plan for the city whilst, “our neighbours continue to breathe polluted air.”